May 27 2013
I am on my way home from Camp Osborn benefit ride in Sylvester, Ga. and reflecting on the weekend. My husband and I took our 7&1/2 yo grandson, Austin, for his first ride. The horse we brought for him was sick when she came off the trailer and unable to be ridden on Sunday. Before extreme disappoint and the back up plan was finalized, my friend Jodi Buttram just happened to have brought Aries(23 yo awesome, retired endurance horse) with her. I asked if she would mind Austin riding her. Yes was the answer and excited with the prospect. Austin, who always seems to rise to the occasion was very eager to ride her. ( not scared at all)
Off we went about 15 min. after the start with a little anxiety of the unknown but excited to get started with my husband and I heading and healing. It became apparent this horse was about as good as it gets and can she trot. The sight of this little child and this 15h horse going down the trail like nobody's business is a memory I will never loose.
We had a nice finish of 4h 20min.with all horses looking good at the final vet check. After the final trot out Austin told the vet (Anna) and all the others at the check he would see them next year. He took care of his horse and then returned Aries to her trailer. The rest of the day was spent jumping off one of our horses back in the lake, swimming in the pool and climbing the rock wall. What better 1st. Endurance ride could a child or adult for that matter have!
We got in the truck to go home the morning and out of the blue he announces he is proud he finished his ride .
I cannot say enough of how this memory got better except that the ride management, volunters, old friends and new friends were his cheerleaders for the whole day and thrilled to see this boy complete a very important day in his life and be apart of it. My husband and I are very lucky to be a part of this group.
Thank you Kim and peeps,
P.S. Austin slept about half of the 9h ride home
P.P.S. Dee Dee Huff is an awesome vet